Background Complete Time Tracking
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Complete Time Tracking
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Complete Time Tracking
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Complete Time Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Complete Time Tracking